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Director of Global Innovation


Living Goods was born out of the spirit of innovation.  A decade ago, after accompanying Avon saleswomen in rural African villages, Chuck Slaughter created Living Goods using community health workers to sell medicines and lifesaving products door-to-door.  Seven years later, we replicated Living Goods in Kenya.  The following year, we expanded to Zambia and Myanmar.  

But innovation at Living Goods is more than expansion.  It’s also invention.

That’s why we worked with software and biotech partners to create smart phone aps for community health workers to conduct health screenings and treat common ailments at the household level.  In Kenya, community health workers are now testing new techniques, like paperless clinic referrals, biosensors to track infant growth, and HIV self-testing kits.  In Uganda, they’re testing new self-injectable contraceptives.

But innovation at Living Goods is more than invention.  It’s also transformation.

That’s why we’re broadening our model from equipping and educating community health workers to transforming the entire system of community health.  We’re now partnering with Ministries of Health – to help them incorporate mobile technology, collect and analyze data, stock essential medicines, guide managers and train and incentivize community health workers.

We’re also transforming the way community health is financed. In global conferences and forums, we’re leading conversations about results based financing and contracting.  Locally, we’re advising county governments on strategies like pay for performance and financial incentives that motivate both health workers and managers.


The Opportunity

We’re looking for a Chief Futurist at Living Goods – also known as the Director of Global Innovation.  A mad scientist who scribbles frantically in front of a white board.  A dreamer capable of leading discussions in the brainstorming room at Google X.  An energetic professional who can infect others with a passion for new ideas and can bring in stories of innovation from other sectors.

Lead innovation.  You will be the keeper of our culture of innovation.  You will lead Living Goods’ efforts to test, try, and retool – both in technologies and approaches for global health and the way we work internally.   

Spark ideas.  You will create a culture of innovation at Living Goods by getting people’s juices flowing.  Through games, meetings and meals you will foster creative discussions through Living Goods.  You will also find ways to recognize and reward people at Living Goods who embody innovation.  Some of your inspiration will come from other NGOs; some from enterprises like Google, Uber, and mPesa.

Lean in.  Innovation is, in essence, a solution to a problem and sometimes that problem is not always clear or people don’t want to hear it.  Once you have identified priority areas for innovation, you will assemble the innovators – Living Goods colleagues, external companies, academic institutes, social enterprises, and NGO community health leaders – to develop solutions to the problems or needs you’ve identified.

Identify winning solutions.  You will accelerate the rate at which community health innovations are developed at Living Goods and contribute globally to international thinking.  Some of the innovations we adopt will come from employee expertise and engagement.  Others from outside partners like software companies, social enterprises, and academic professionals.  But all will bear your fingerprints because you will keep your finger on the pulse of all the experiments and activities being undertaken. Your efforts could result in:

  • An integrated, client-facing technology platform that allows clients to receive health advice via text messages or connect virtually to their community health worker;
  • A mobile based program that pays bonuses to community health workers for achieving health targets
  • A community health insurance scheme with phased in backing from the government
  • A new recruiting platform with videos of hiring managers talking in place of written job announcements (like this one).

Lead the innovators.  You will not be a lone ranger in your work. You will set up a new unit to think differently, be bold, and not be afraid to fail.  You will be aided by our existing Innovation Network, our Gates-funded incubation lab that is already testing community health technologies.

Share the news.  What we learn you will share widely – helping not just Living Goods but also the field of community health, ministries of health, and other community health organizations all around the world.


Your background

Record of innovation.  You have at least 10 years experience leading innovation in a global organization that have led to at least three breakthroughs. There have been failures along the way that have helped you change course but not slow down. 

Passion for community health.  Ideally, you have experience working in public health or health technologies.  If not, you are steadfastly committed to improving health of low income people globally. 

Curiosity.  You wonder a lot.  You love to day- dream about solutions to problems.  You are good at conceptualizing.  You like to design things. You read a lot and know what is happening around the world, and new ideas in difference contexts spark your creative juices.

Collaborative leader.  You are able to inspire a shared vision for the Living Goods team – not just your direct team but the whole organization.  You know how to motivate people to think differently and to help your team set priorities and work towards goals.

Analysis skills.  You are able to research problems and solutions.  You like wading through information and drawing insights.

Natural connector. You are able to build and sustain relationships with other innovative organization leaders.  You are able to spot trends, learn from others.

Strategic. You are a quick thinker, laser focused and clear decision maker.  You have a strong interest in private-sector approaches to development and a proven ability to produce results.  You can apply what others have done to what we and others can do in the community health space.

Lives our values. You can thrive in our culture – you can demonstrate inclusion, integrity, innovation, quick footedness, collaboration, and accountability.   


How to Apply

To apply for this position please visit our career page and apply for Director of Global Innovation through our applicant tracking system. Successful applicants will be contacted for an interview.

For more information about Living Goods, please visit:

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